If gaming is having a negative impact on someone’s life and there is an urge or compulsion to game – this may be a sign of problem gaming.
The urge to game may continue despite the gamer wanting to stop, or despite them knowing that it is causing them harm.
What is problem gaming?
Problem gaming is also known as Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) and is thought to affect between 1 to 10% of people Europe and North America. One in ten people will, at some point in their life, struggle to control their gaming and suffer negative consequences in their life as a result.
Problem gaming is considered to be
What help is available?
It can be daunting to reach out for help, but Gambling Therapy offers a dedicated, confidential text-based chat service which runs from 9am – 2am (UK time) Monday to Friday and 10am – 10pm (UK time) Saturday and Sunday. You can find this by clicking the “speak to an advisor” button at the bottom of this page.
Here you can talk with one of our clinically trained advisors about your concerns around gaming, be that a gaming problem that you have or may be developing, or a concern around a friend or loved one that you feel may have a gaming addiction problem. We are not here to judge, but to listen and help you through this.
Signs of problem gaming
- Are you thinking about gaming all or a lot of the time?
- Are you struggling to play less or to stop?
- Is gaming the main source of enjoyment in your life?
- Have you stopped doing other things that you used to enjoy?
- Does gaming take up most of your free time?
- Are those around you concerned with how much you are playing?
- Do you lie about how much you are playing to friends/family?
- Is gaming negatively effecting your school, work, or social life?
- Are you losing sleep because of gaming?
- Are you using gaming to help with difficult moods or feelings?
What you can do right now…
- Reach out to a loved one
- Take a break from gaming and explore other activities you might enjoy
- Limit your access to gaming
- Move your console, PC, and phone out of your bedroom
- Avoid games that you know keep you playing for hours
- Avoid games that offer loot boxes or have microtransactions
- Ask friends and family not to discuss their gaming around you
Speak to someone about your gaming on our free text-based helpline.